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Muslim Celebrations

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In Islam, there are only three special occasions or celebrations, and all three are related to acts of worship and devotion. We are therefore instructed not to participate in the religious celebrations of other traditions and faiths. Any religious celebrations that non-Muslims have are not days of celebration for Muslims. Therefore, Muslims do not celebrate or partake in Christmas, Easter, Diwali or Passover.

The three celebrations in Islam with each one marking acts of worship are:

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Navigating the Celebrating with Consideration & Kindness

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As new Muslims, it is natural to feel hesitant about participating in holiday gatherings that do not align with our religious beliefs. It is important to remember that we have the right to practice our faith and make decisions that are in line with our values. At the same time, it is important to be considerate of the feelings and beliefs of others.

One way to politely decline participation in holiday gatherings is to simply explain our reasons for not participating. For example, we could say something like “I appreciate the invitation, but as a Muslim, I am not able to participate in celebrations that are not in line with my religious beliefs. I hope you understand.” This approach is straightforward and respectful, and it allows us to explain our position without being confrontational.

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Celebrations with Pagan Roots

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Muslim celebrations are legislated by God and the Messenger Muhammad. Their origin is based on textual evidence, Quran and Hadith, and they are celebrated to mark God’s worship and devotion to Him.

Many other celebrations that have religious or cultural associations are in fact pagan in origin. Paganism refers to polytheistic religions. In the European context this would include the religions of the Greeks, Romans, Norse, and others. In Islamic nomenclature, pagan refers to things that God did not legislate or approve of, rather they are man-made traditions and customs. In this blog, we will look at five common celebrations that have paganism at their roots:

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Impermissible Foods

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God has told us to consume what is lawful and good in the Quran. God says, “So eat of the good and lawful things God has provided for you and be thankful for His blessings, if it is Him that you worship.” [16:114] So what are the things that God has legislated as being unlawful and impure? This blog post will give a brief overview.

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Just & Fair

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As new Muslims, most of the family we have are not. 

It’s hard to think about their eternal fate,

When they’re family, the one we’ve got.


Out of love and concern, a common question asked 

Can we pray for them when they die?

Is it ok? And what’s their fate? I want to pray for them. Can I?

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The Messenger Muhammad – Following His Example

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The Messenger Muhammad was sent as a mercy to humankind, an example to the believers and a standard-bearer showing God’s Right Path.

We follow his example because his life is the most perfect of lives. God chose the Messenger Muhammad, based on His Knowledge and Wisdom. He selected him over all humans. Thus, we must learn about his blessed life that was guided and decreed by God; perhaps his lifestyle would become a beacon for us. Following are more reasons why we must follow the example of the Messenger Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him protection.

  1.  He was chosen by God to deliver His message and is worthy of being followed.
  2. Out of obedience to God’s Orders: We should follow the example of the Messenger Muhammad because we were ordered to do so. Allah, the Exalted, Says «There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern, an example, for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often.» [33:21]
  3. The Messenger’s life contained great wisdom: We should follow the Messenger Muhammad, because his life contained great wisdom in all aspects – in matters of faith, manners, guidance, and perseverance in calling towards God and fighting evil.
  4. Following the Messenger’s example is the condition for achieving success and victory: We will never gain success and victory unless we follow the example of the Messenger Muhammad, his sayings, actions, and manners.
  5. The Messenger Muhammad served as an example in all situations: As a man, a husband, a brother, a Messenger, a ruler, a leader, God made him an example for us to follow in all circumstances.
  6. Guidance in Dealing with Others: Learning the Messenger Muhammad’s biography gives us great insight in various aspects of his life, including the way he dealt with different people.

Jesus in Islam

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In Islam, we believe in the original scriptures God sent to His Messengers, not in the books that carry the same names. The Quran is the only scripture of God that is intact and still exists in its original, pristine form.


The original sacred scriptures of the past do not exist in their original form in our times. This is confirmed by Biblical scholars, Jewish and Christian. However, some of the meanings of existing Biblical verses are clearly in line with the original scriptures because they are confirmed by the Quran, the Final Testament. An example would be the command to worship God alone without any partners.


Muslims believe that the Torah of Moses and the Injeel (Gospel) of Jesus originated from God. However, the original Torah and Injeel (Gospel) do not exist today. The Bible today consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. These are a collection of many books from different authors written in different times, not only the Torah and the Injeel that were sent by God to Moses and Jesus respectively.


In Islam, we view Jesus and his mother differently than how Christians in their various

denominations view them.


Jesus, the son of Mary, was a Messenger, and a Prophet of God. He was a human with no share in divinity. He was a Muslim and so was every Messenger of God. Jesus was the Messiah (the chosen Messenger of God) for the Children of Israel. He came to confirm the Law and the Torah of Moses and foretold about Muhammad’s coming. Isa is the name of Jesus in Arabic. We make a prayer whenever we mention the name of any of the Messengers of God. That prayer is asking God to bless the Messengers and grant them protection and well-being.


Both Jesus and Muhammad were human beings with no share of Divinity with God. They were brothers in faith – brothers from different mothers. They were both Muslims who submitted to God, followed His commandments, and obeyed God with sincerity. They were both sent by God to guide people as Messengers and Prophets. They came with the same message as all the other Messengers and Prophets of God from the time of Adam. That message was “Worship God and follow the Commandments.”


The main difference in their physical life is that Jesus did not have a father, whereas Muhammad did, although he too grew up an orphan since his father died before he was born. Jesus had a miracle birth which is recorded in the Quran. His mother, the Virgin Mary gave birth to him as a sign and a miracle from God.


Both Muhammad and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were descendants of Abraham through his two sons Ishmael and Isaac. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was from the offspring of Jacob, son of Isaac, whereas Muhammad was from the offspring of Ishmael. Jesus’ mother was an Israelite and Muhammad was an Ishmaelite, an Arab.


Jesus is mentioned in the Quran with the following titles, the Messiah, a Miracle, a Spirit, and a Word from God.


As for the differences in their teachings, both Jesus and Muhammad brought the same fundamental message of worship of the One True God and following His commandments. There were some differences in the details of the law that they brought because Jesus was only sent for a particular people and for a limited time and place whereas Muhammad was sent for all people and all times and places.


Jesus will come back (return) to earth at the end of times and join the ranks of the believers against the disbelievers. Muhammad prophesied this and gave details about the end of times.


In Islam, we have to believe in them both and love them both. Muslims are taught to celebrate, love, and honor Jesus.


A common misconception that some people have is that Muslims worship Muhammad the way many Christians worship Jesus. That is simply not true. Europeans and orientalists used to call Muslims “Muhammadans,” following this misconception.


Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus and some of them, like Catholics, believe in the divinity of his mother Mary, the Virgin, whom they call ‘The Mother of God.’ Muslims do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, Mary, or Muhammad. In Islam, only God is Divine.


Muslims don’t worship Muhammad. We don’t end our prayers in his name; instead, we ask God to bless and protect him when mentioning his name. We don’t have an equivalent of the “Hail Mary” dedicated to the mother of Muhammad. We pray directly to God and end the prayer with the name of God.


Muslims do not make images and icons of any human, no matter how special and righteous. We do not have statues and sculptures in our places of worship. The House of Worship is exclusively dedicated to the One True God. We simply try to follow Muhammad’s model and way as he followed the model and way of the Messengers before him, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.


May God bless, protect and honor Jesus and Muhammad.

Lessons from the Life of Joseph

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The story of Joseph contains many important lessons. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. God honors whom He wills – Being tried and tested in life does not mean that God dislikes you. In fact, as we see in this story, God tested the most beloved of people to him – His Messengers. Likewise, a lack of trials and hardships is not a sign of God’s pleasure. In this story, despite the challenges of abandonment, slavery, false accusation and prison, Joseph remains strong in his faith and adhering to God’s teachings, and in turn, God honors and protects him.
  2. Integrity and noble character – Joseph displays the highest of morals and character throughout his whole life and in all the circumstances he finds himself in. As a slave and a prisoner, he is the epitome of good conduct and integrity. Even when he is given the chance to leave prison, Joseph refuses, instead insisting that his innocence is first declared before leaving prison.
  3. Mindful of God at all times – In prison, before interpreting the dreams of his fellow inmates, Joseph teaches them about God and calls them to worship Him alone. When faced with the option of agreeing to the demands of the elite immodest women, Joseph turns to God and prefers prison over disobedience to God.
  4. Looking at the greater good – After years have passed, and his former inmate returns to him with the king’s dream, Joseph does not berate him but rather interprets the dream, due to the major need of people to prepare for the upcoming difficulties.
  5. Forgiveness – Despite the real harm Joseph’s brothers did to him, Joseph forgives and pardons them when they return. Joseph is now in a position of power and importance. He could have done as he pleased and would have had a right to do so. Yet instead, he chooses the harder but more rewarding option of forgiving and pardoning.
  6. Endurance and perseverance – The story of Joseph is one of endurance and perseverance. Throughout his life, Joseph displayed amazing levels of patience, from the moment he is thrown into the well, throughout his years of slavery and prison, and then when his brothers stand before him once again. Jacob also displayed high levels of endurance and perseverance, having no news of his son Joseph for decades, and then eventually losing his second son Benjamin.
  7. Trust in God – Throughout all of his challenges, Joseph continued to trust in God, knowing that He had a higher plan and purpose for him. This is stated by Joseph after being reunited with his family. He recognized the subtlety and beauty in God’s plans.